Box-headed Blood-bee - Sphecodes monilicornis


One of three medium-sized to large Sphecodes (Blood-bees), in which females have punctures (rather than just rugosity) behind the ocelli.  Males are one of a number of species with somewhat compressed and shiny antennal flagellar segments and are best confirmed using genitalia.

Similar Species

S. monilicornis is easily separated from the other two (S. gibbus and S. reticulatus) by the box-shaped head when seen in top view, with the hind corners well formed. The hairs of the hind tibiae are also whitish rather than dark like the other two, and the pygidium is broader.

Identification difficulty
Recording advice

Most solitary bees and wasps are difficult to identify, and can rarely be identified from photos taken in the field.  All red-rated records should include a photo or set of photos of the specimen, illustrating the key characters taken from a standard key, which should also be referenced (e.g. ‘Falk, 2015’).  The full set of key characters are generally not visible in field photos and photos are rarely sharp enough. To aid in the verification of your records, please include face shot, side, top and wings.  The notes should state whether male or female, and explain how the specimen met the key characters.  Although NS may not be able to identify the species even if these reference photos are provided, the photos will be stored with the record and may allow it be identified in future.   Alternatively, NS will accept records identified by a recognised local or national expert, or that have been identified via BWARS’ Facebook .  If you have obtained this advice, please note the name of the person/organisation identifying the record in the ‘determiner’ field (e.g. ‘Stuart Roberts, BWARS Facebook’) rather than just a comment of ‘BWARS Facebook’.


Wherever the hosts are found.

When to see it

Females fly from late March to mid-September. Males from July to September.

Life History

Cleptoparasite of several species of ground nesting bee including Lasioglossum calceatum, albipes and malachurum.

UK Status

Widespread and locally common in the southern half of Britain with records extending north to Scotland.

VC55 Status

Status in Leicestershire and Rutland not known.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map

Species profile

Common names
Square-headed Blood Bee
Species group:
Bees, Wasps, Ants
Records on NatureSpot:
First record:
16/05/2019 (Berriman, Matthew)
Last record:
05/05/2022 (Sexton, Timothy)

Total records by month

% of records within its species group

10km squares with records

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